Jesus. When you meditate upon that name, what thoughts does it conjure up in your mind? If you are a follower of His teachings, you are instructed to follow His lead. He is, after all, the way, the truth, and the life. But following Him isn’t easy, is it? Turning the other cheek, laying down your life, loving your enemies….those are hippie concepts. To make it in this society, where too often the big dog wins, we want to be that pit bull, don’t we?
King David. Now he was my sort of guy. Scripture says he was ruddy, handsome, and had beautiful eyes. Whenever I see Chris Hemsworth (Thor), I see King David. A fearless warrior, standing upon sheer faith, he took down Goliath with a sling and a handful of stones. He is the lowly shepherd who became a powerful and wealthy king, a true story of overcoming your circumstances. Not only did the man have a home, he occupied a palatial palace.
Moses. I like him too. Sure, he had a speech impediment and was an orphan, but did he not become the leader of all leaders? What tremendous power and fame came from that little baby who was left in a floating basket. Raising his staff, he parted the Red Sea to take down mighty Egypt. And in the process, he set the Hebrew slaves free. He was their redeemer and leader; he set their laws and became their judge. What a mighty man!
But the Jesus character. Clothed in humility, he made friends with those who were considered scum of society. If you were a drunkard or a prostitute, for instance, he might sit down and have long conversation with you. And if you were a tax collector, he might ask you to join him for a meal. If you were crippled, blind, deaf, diseased, or even mentally insane….yes, if you were an untouchable….He would seek you out and touch you, offering healing. Jesus had no fame or fortune; the truth is, He had no place to lay His head.
The dichotomy is real. Our very nature goes against who Jesus calls us to be. It is why Paul said: “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” If you are a follower of Christ, you understand Paul completely.
The following is a text exchange between my landlord and me. As most of you know by now, even though I followed my twelve month lease, my non-profit, which freely assists seventy at-risk girls, was unfairly evicted only three months into the contract. And as a result, I no longer have the resources to operate:
The Landlord, as you can see, is exercising his right not to settle with me. Listen, none of this is fair. I was minding my own business, serving the community, and honoring my agreement with the landlord to the best of my ability. I went before an impartial judge, presented my case, but was still evicted. Twice. The city had (and has) structural concerns for the building, and I was never made aware…which makes this all even more unfair, especially since the judge wouldn’t hear it.
This has already cost me a lot of money.
Those seventy girls who depended upon me are not being served…the untouchables are not being touched.
The damages, when assessed to me, may be ridiculously high. I could be blamed for wear and tear on a building the city had already found to be unsafe.
And I could go on.
This isn’t about the landlord, the judge, the non-profit, or the girls. This, friends, is about me. Choosing to be more like my Savior than like King David or Moses, this time, I will turn my cheek…I will forgive…I will lay down my life…and I will surrender.
Because my life is not my own.
Because vengeance is mine says the Lord.
Because God’s ways are not my ways.
Because I trust Him.
Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him!